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What is best for tired legs?

When your legs feel heavy and achy, it can make even simple tasks seem difficult. Tired legs are often caused by factors like prolonged standing or sitting, exercise fatigue, pregnancy, or medical conditions. While tired legs can happen to anyone, there are many remedies that may provide relief and re-energize your lower body.

What causes tired legs?

There are several potential causes for tired, achy legs:

  • Standing or sitting for long periods – This leads to poor circulation and strain on the leg muscles.
  • Exercise – Working your leg muscles hard through exercise like running can fatigue them.
  • Being overweight – Extra weight puts more pressure on the legs.
  • Pregnancy – Hormonal changes and extra weight during pregnancy often lead to leg fatigue.
  • Medical conditions – Conditions like arthritis, varicose veins, peripheral artery disease or chronic venous insufficiency can cause tired legs.
  • Dehydration – Not drinking enough water causes muscle fatigue.
  • Nutritional deficiencies – Being low in potassium, magnesium, iron or B vitamins may play a role.

Lifestyle remedies for tired legs

Many simple home remedies and lifestyle changes can provide relief from tired legs:

Rest your legs

Take breaks from standing and sit or lie down whenever possible to take the strain off your leg muscles. Try to elevate your legs above heart level to improve circulation.

Apply cold therapy

Apply an ice pack or cold compress to your legs for 15-20 minutes. The cold reduces inflammation and soreness.

Try compression socks or stockings

Wearing compression garments improves circulation and provides support to leg muscles and veins.

Do leg stretches and exercises

Stretch How to do it
Calf stretch Stand facing a wall with hands on the wall for support. Step one foot back and bend the front knee, keeping the back leg straight. Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs.
Hamstring stretch Sit on ground with both legs straight out. Bend one knee and place the foot against the inner thigh of the opposite leg. Reach towards toes of straightened leg until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh. Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs.
Quad stretch Stand up straight and hold on to a wall for balance. Bend one knee and grab the ankle with your hand, gently pulling the heel towards your butt. Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs.

Do leg exercises like marching in place, knee lifts, leg kicks, or simply going for a short walk. This boosts circulation.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can worsen muscle fatigue.

Massage your legs

Gently massage your calves, thighs, and feet. This stimulates circulation and relaxes muscles.

Take an epsom salt bath

Soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salts provides magnesium which is absorbed through the skin to relieve muscle soreness.

Elevate legs at night

Use pillows to prop your legs up while sleeping to improve circulation and reduce swelling.

Medical treatments for tired legs

If at-home remedies aren’t providing enough relief, see your doctor. They may recommend:

  • Compression stockings – Prescription-strength stockings apply more pressure to improve blood flow.
  • Leg elevation – Wearing special compression boots that elevate the legs can significantly reduce swelling and fatigue.
  • Medications – Diuretics, aspirin, or vein-supporting medications may be prescribed depending on the cause.
  • Surgery – Procedures like sclerotherapy or leg vein ablation may help certain conditions like varicose veins.
  • Physical therapy – Stretching, strengthening, and massage can address musculoskeletal causes.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor promptly if you experience:

  • Persistent or severe leg pain
  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Leg heaviness along with skin color changes
  • Leg pain that worsens when lying down
  • Leg numbness, tingling or weakness
  • Leg cramps, especially at night
  • An injury like a calf strain that causes lingering pain

These may indicate an underlying health issue requiring treatment.


You can take proactive steps to reduce leg fatigue:

  • Exercise regularly to improve circulation and strengthen muscles.
  • Stretch your legs frequently when sitting or standing for long periods.
  • Wear supportive shoes.
  • Elevate legs when possible.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to avoid excess strain on legs.
  • Eat a balanced diet with nutrients like magnesium and potassium.
  • Stay hydrated.


Tired, heavy legs can have many causes, from simple overexertion to medical conditions. Lifestyle measures like rest, leg elevation, compression garments, hydration, massage and avoiding prolonged standing or sitting may provide relief in milder cases. More chronic or severe leg fatigue warrants medical attention to identify and properly treat any underlying condition. With the right remedies and preventive care, tired legs don’t have to hold you back.